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Indian J Urol. 2011 Oct;27(4):498-502. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.91441.

How to critically appraise a clinical practice guideline.

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University of Florida, Departments of Urology and Prostate Disease Center, College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA.



Clinical practice guidelines play a critical role in guiding the evidence-based clinical practice of urology. We describe a systematic approach to critical appraisal of urology guidelines.


Based on a focused clinical question derived from a clinical scenario, we identified a relevant clinical practice guideline that we critically appraised using the Users' Guide to the Medical Literature framework as to whether the results are valid, what are the results, and can they be applied to the care of an individual patient.


A clinical practice guideline by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence on the use of sunitinib as the first line treatment for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma was identified. The guideline development process was found to be appropriately rigorous and included an explicit rating of the quality of evidence. The recommendations were clearly stated and appeared applicable to the specific patient in the clinical scenario.


Clinical practice guidelines should be developed using rigorous evidence-based methodology. Urologists should have the skills and knowledge to critically appraise a guideline before applying it to the care of their patients.


Clinical practice guidelines; evidence based medicine; quality of evidence

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